Getty Images has hit back at criticism over its deal with Flickr, telling photographers it will give potential buyers confidence that their images have been legally obtained.

The picture library giant was responding to concern that it may have taken its deal with image sharing website Flickr a step too far.

As we reported on Friday, amateur photographers can now indicate on the Flickr website whether they want their uploaded pictures to be available for sale by Getty to third parties.

However, the move led to criticism from some that the arrangement may exploit amateurs by handing Getty the rights to all their pictures and lead them to inadvertently accept fees lower than their professional counterparts.

Responding to the backlash a Getty Images spokeswoman told Amateur Photographer: ?The deal is a great development as it will open up the market for images sourced through Flickr.

‘Now, those looking for fresh, genuinely original, imagery can be confident that the images they?re sourcing from Flickr and its photographers through Request to License, have been obtained correctly and come with Getty Images indemnification against claims that may arise in future.?

The spokeswoman added: ?It also creates another opportunity for Flickr photographers to enter the world of stock photography. Getty Images’ unrivalled expertise in image licensing helps Flickr photographers to ensure their imagery is eligible to become legally licensable to customers around the world.?